Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wednesday Factoid: Gendered Clothing & Grooming

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Do you think men should wear skirts? How about if they wear makeup? Do you think women should wear ties? How about if they don't shave body hair?


I think anyone of any gender should wear whatever they want, do their makeup and hair however they want, and groom themselves however they want.

As a person who has multiple male friends who wear makeup and a couple who are comfortable wearing skirts, as well as nonbinary people who are not either men or women and may make aesthetic choices some find surprising, and many female friends who do not wear makeup, do not shave, and sometimes wear ties, I can absolutely say this is not hypothetical in my life. (I'm guessing it's not hypothetical for a lot of queer people, but I sometimes think these questions are posed by people who think it's a controversial or funny idea, not so much an actual experience that's familiar in my life.)

As a cis woman who presents feminine and chooses basically feminine aesthetics for her wardrobe, I mostly am  not criticized for my choices along gender lines, but I almost never wear any makeup and I can't remember the last time I shaved my legs. (I generally don't, though I have done so for certain situations--I don't feel that strongly about it, but I also just have no reason to do it most of the time.) 

It's also baffling sometimes how many people (mainly men) treat women like they're gross or unhygienic if they don't shave. Recently I saw a casual photo of a woman with body hair being circulated, and some of the men in the comments were disgusted--like "IS THIS REALLY WHAT WOMEN LOOK LIKE WHEN THEY DON'T SHAVE??" and "I CAN SMELL THIS PICTURE FROM HERE!" You know, as if women who don't shave are lazy and slobbish and filthy, and they can only imagine shaved women as clean women. Meanwhile they don't seem to think their own body hair is dirty. A woman being shaved is just part of expected hygiene and they assume the person does not have proper hygiene if shaving isn't part of it. That's wild, man.

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